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Terry Pratchett reads classic about poverty in Victorian London

The Independent did a one-minute interview with Terry Pratchett as he sat in a hotel in Seattle. He revealed he was reading London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew. I’ll take a wild guess and say that most of you haven’t heard of this book.

Mayhew was a Victorian newspaper journalist who detailed the awful conditions endured by the city’s lower classes and went on to publish his learnings in a landmark book in 1862.

His writing was important as Mayhew went beyond anecdotes and attempted to use statistical data to back up his conclusions. This book is every bit as important as Dickens’ fictional work in depicting the poor of the Victorian era.

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